Fagen to build DuPont’s first commercial-scale cellulosic plant

By Kris Bevill | May 07, 2012

DuPont Industrial Biosciences has selected Fagen Inc. to build its first commercial-scale cellulosic ethanol plant, a 28 MMgy corn stover-fed facility to be located adjacent to Lincolnway Energy LLC in Nevada, Iowa. Co-locating the cellulosic plant with an existing corn ethanol plant will enable potential synergies in energy and logistical management, according to Dupont Industrial Biosciences. KBR Inc. will carry out front-end engineering, procurement and detailed engineering design of the cellulosic facility. Construction is expected to begin later this year.

“Our selection of Fagen as a partner to build our plant in Iowa marks the next critical step on the road toward commercializing DuPont’s cellulosic ethanol technology,” DuPont Industrial Sciences President James Collins said in a news release. “We look forward to a strong collaboration.”

Fagen has constructed more than 85 corn ethanol plants in the U.S., representing 60 percent of the nation’s production capacity. Jan Koninckx, global director of biofuels at DuPont Industrial Biosciences, said his company expects Fagen will produce the same successful results realized for corn ethanol as the industry begins to expand to second-generation biofuel production. “Fagen is clearly the most credible construction company in the renewable energy field,” he said. “We’re very pleased to have Fagen on board with this.” Fagen also recently signed a deal with butanol technology developer Butamax Advanced Biofuels LLC, a joint venture between BP and DuPont, to retrofit ethanol facilities for butanol production.

Meanwhile, DuPont Industrial Biosciences will continue to grow its corn stover collection program in collaboration with Iowa State University. The collaborative effort is focused on establishing best practices for supplying the DuPont facility with adequate amounts of feedstock in a sustainable and economical fashion. Koninckx said 50 area farmers have previously signed contracts to supply stover to the facility. That number is expected to double this year.